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Joffre Lakes park to reopen Labour Day weekend while talks with First Nations continue – Times Colonist

First Nations had announced closing it until Sept. 30 for traditional harvesting and spiritual ceremonies.

A popular provincial park is to reopen this Labour Day weekend while talks continue with First Nations over their demands for periodic, exclusive use for traditional purposes, the B.C. Environment Ministry said Wednesday evening.

The Líl̓wat and N’Quatqua First Nations announced last Thursday that Joffre Lakes provincial park, also known a Pipi7iyekw, would be shut down until Truth and Reconciliation Day on Sept. 30. That was to allow the two First Nations — based north of Whistler — to harvest traditional foods such as berries and medicines, and carry out spiritual ceremonies in privacy.

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According to one expert Postmedia News spoke to this week, there was no legal basis for the unilateral park closure. But the B.C. NDP government had said the park would be closed until at least the end of Thursday to allow time for respectful discussions. During that period, no new day-passes were issued.

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